Book Reviews

Wonder- R.J. Palacio


Until fifth grade, ten-year-old August “Auggie” Pullman has been home-schooled. Twenty-seven surgeries have improved the appearance of his facial deformities but according to Auggie (and reactions from strangers) he always stands out like a black sheep in a heard of white. In fact Halloween is the only night of the year where he blends in.  “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever your’e thinking, it’s probably worse” (1). Wonder tells the story of Auggie’s fifth grade year through alternating viewpoints: Auggie, his older sister Olivia (Via), friends from school (Summer and Jack), his sister’s boyfriend (Justin) and his sister’s ex-friend (Miranda). It’s hard not to fall in love with Auggie’s character- he’s courageous, kind, sarcastic, funny…he’s the type of kid who makes people better for knowing him. Via describes her brother as “the Sun. Me and Mom and Dad are planets orbiting the Sun. The rest of our family and friends are asteroids and comets floating around the planets orbiting the Sun” (85). Via is an empathetic, altruistic sister and daughter but everyone yearns to be the center of the universe, at least once in a while; and at her new high school, she has a chance to be more than just “Auggie’s sister. “Because like Auggie pointed out, “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives.” When Via’s boyfriend lands the lead role in the Our Town play and she makes understudy for another main character, Via doesn’t tell her parents or Auggie which causes obvious turmoil within their family. But sometimes conflict is necessary for change to take place.

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